In his list of “top potential trade destinations,” Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Risdon speculated that Dallas could make a run at Stafford by offering a trade package that includes their first-round pick (No. 10 overall) and starting wide receiver Amari Cooper or Michael Gallup, among other considerations.
“The Dallas Cowboys now have another alternative if they choose to move on from pending free agent Dak Prescott, who is coming off a serious injury,” Risdon wrote. “Stafford is a Texas native and has the type of physical arm talent that has made Cowboys owner Jerry Jones weak in the knees before. Stafford’s salary with bonuses comes cheaper than what it would take for the Cowboys to use the franchise tag on Prescott once again, and Stafford is fully healthy relative to the younger Prescott. The Cowboys have some wide receiver depth (Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper) that could sweeten the pot along with their No. 10 overall draft pick in any deal with Detroit.”
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Stafford’s Resume, Contract
The No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft, Stafford has been a good — but arguably not great — quarterback at the professional level, his ceiling limited by supporting casts, organizational ineptitude, and his own inconsistencies.
The 33-year-old (in February) has thrown for over 45,000 yards, 282 touchdowns, and 141 interceptions across 165 games. He earned Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 following an injury-ruined 2010 campaign and his first (and only) Pro Bowl nod in 2014, when he notched 4,257 air yards and 22 TDs en route to a Detroit Wild Card berth.
Stafford, who’s never won a playoff contest, owns various regular-season league records. He’s the fastest player to reach 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, and 45,000 career passing yards, tallied the most fourth-quarter comebacks (8) in a single season, and uncorked the most pass attempts (727) in a season.
In 2020, Stafford eclipsed 4,000 yards and 25-plus passing TDs for the first time since 2017. He completed 64.2% of his balls and finished with a cumulative QB rating of 96.3 as the Lions limped to a 5-11 record.
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Unlikely to Land in Dallas
There’s a reason Vegas oddsmakers failed to include the Cowboys as a suitor for Stafford. Just because they’re rumored doesn’t mean they’ve decided to abandon their in-house star, Dak Prescott, an impending free agent. Prescott is younger and more talented than Stafford and Dallas wouldn’t surrender precious draft capital, nor strip their QB of a stud pass-catcher. On top of absorbing Stafford’s albatross contract.
Prescott is expected to receive the franchise tag if a long-term deal cannot be agreed to this offseason. The Cowboys may add a veteran with Andy Dalton heading to the open market, but a move for Stafford? Don’t hold your breath.
Stafford is an ideal option for a win-now club like the San Francisco 49ers or Indianapolis Colts, the tentative frontrunners to pull off the blockbuster trade, per oddsmakers.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL